Eggs are versatile and cheap. There are literally thousands of ways to cook eggs that are delicious and simple. Fast to cook and easy to eat, eggs are basically the first meal that everyone learns to cook.
It would make your life much easier if you can cook an egg and give it to your little one once in a while. Your baby’s meal would be ready in less than 5 minutes.
But the real question is, can you do that? Are eggs safe for babies? When can a baby eat eggs? When can a baby eat egg white? When can he eat egg yolk? Is there anything you need to worry about?
There are many articles with contradicting opinions on the internet on when can baby eat egg white due to allergy concerns. However, current recommendations say there is no reason to wait in many circumstances.
You may begin giving your baby eggs as one of their first foods, as long as you watch carefully for allergic reactions.
In this article, we will go through every question you might have about babies and eggs, from when can baby eat egg white, to how to prevent egg allergy. Read on and find out.
Why can't babies eat egg white?
Pediatricians used to recommend waiting to give the baby the entire egg until your baby is 1 year old. That’s because up to two percent of children are allergic to eggs.
But, there’s more in that.
An egg contains the yolk and the white. And only the egg white contains proteins that are potential to produce some allergic reaction. The yolk, while yummy and more fulfilling, doesn’t.
If your baby falls into that 2 percent of children, he or she can have mild to severe allergic reactions. Sometimes even with allergies, those reactions don’t bother them at all.
When can baby eat egg white?
Doctors used to recommend waiting until your child is 1 year old to introduce eggs to him, however, a recent study proved that early exposure to egg white and egg as a whole can reduce the risk of egg allergy.
Therefore, when your baby is around 6 months old and he starts eating solids, you can introduce egg white to him.
Besides, the yolk doesn’t hold any protein that can cause allergies, it also contains many vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat. So when your baby starts eating solids, it’s good to give him the whole egg (both white and yolk).
Can I give my 7-month-old egg whites?
Yes, you can. If your baby is developing normally and starts eating solid at around 6 months old, you can give your 7-month-old egg whites.
In fact, when giving your 7-month-old egg whites, you have been waiting 1 month longer than recommended.
How do I introduce eggs to my 8-month-old?
The same thing applies to eggs when introducing any type of new food to your baby: slowly and one at a time.
A good way to start is the 3-day wait. So you introduce your child to eggs on day one. And you wait until day 3 before adding anything new to your child’s diet. You need to isolate the reactions to different types of food. Therefore, don’t introduce so many new foods to your child at once as if your child has reactions, you will not know what food causes the problem.
How much egg can an 8-month-old eat?
An adult is recommended to have no more than 5 eggs a week. And some researchers say 3 eggs a week is ideal.
For 8-month-old and young babies in general, you should limit eggs to 2 to 3 portions a week. Each portion will be a quarter of a whole egg.
Can you give a baby runny egg yolk?
Runny egg yolk is way yummier than hard-boiled and your child seems to enjoy it much more.
However, as runny egg yolk might contain enzymes and nutrition that might require the digestive system to work harder to consume, your baby’s sensitive digestive system might not be able to do so. This can cause diarrhea or gas.
What’s more, you need to make sure the eggs are safe and have no bacteria when they are not well done. To play it safe, either buy eggs from a very safe source or give your baby hard-boiled egg yolk.
Signs and symptoms of egg allergies
This is something we don't want to see. But it can happen. As I mentioned above, around 2% of children are allergic to eggs. To those children, their immune systems are not fully developed and may not be able to handle certain proteins in the egg white. When it happens, they might feel sick, get rashes or have other allergic reaction symptoms.
Some common symptoms can appear on the skin, cardiovascular or respiratory system. For example:
Skin: hives (red, blotchy skin that can itch) and may include mild to severe swelling
Lungs: difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
Eyes: itching, tearing or redness
Throat: tightness, trouble breathing or inhaling
Stomach: repeated vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramping or diarrhea
Nose: congestion, copious clear discharge, sneezing or itching
Neurologic: change in behavior or mood, dizziness
Drop in Blood Pressure: This is the most dangerous symptom of a severe allergic reaction
Depending on your child’s immune system and how many eggs your child consumes, he can get from mild to severe reaction symptoms. Make sure you stop giving eggs to your child and call your child’s doctor right away when your child seems to have reaction symptoms.
The tendency to have allergies is often hereditary. If someone in your family is allergic to eggs, you may want to be very cautious when introducing eggs to your baby.
How do you prevent egg allergy in babies?
The truth is, you cannot prevent egg allergy if your baby is allergic to it. But what you can do is to reduce allergic reactions.
Reducing allergic reactions by slowly introducing eggs to your baby. Once you realize your baby is allergic to eggs, the symptoms are not severe and you want to introduce eggs to your baby again, start very small like one small spoon of egg in your baby’s food.
Once exposed to eggs often with a very small amount, your baby is likely to get less and less reactions over time.
Babies can eat egg white as soon as they start eating solids.
Introduction of well-done eggs at 6 months of age is ideal for both you and your baby. Just remember to start small with the right portion.
Make sure you follow the 3-day waiting time range and watch out for any reactions.